Rising Stars: Jamie Garvock

Scottish engineer reveals how making it onto the UK festival scene is one of the achievements he's most proud of.
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Audio Pro International’s focus on the best of the industry’s emerging audio engineers continues with the latest addition to our Rising Stars section.

This week we hear from Jamie Garvock, a Scottish FOH specialist and in-house engineer for Dundee music venue 20 Rocks. Garvock reveals how originally offering his audio services for free at his local venues paid off, and how managing to get involved with the UK festival circuit and working FOH for The View are among the achievements he's most proud of...

Where did you study?

I began my studies in 2010 at Perth College, Scotland, where I achieved my HND Certificate in Sound Production.

Where are you based?

I am based in Dundee, Scotland.

What made you decide to pursue a career in audio?

I have always been a massive music fan since a very young age. I played in a few bands with some friends in and around Dundee and the live sound industry always appealed to me. I used to love watching the in-house engineers work and listen to the final product. When I realised there was an opportunity for me to pursue a career in audio engineering myself I made the decision to take it.

I started a Sound Engineering course at Perth College UHI and began knocking at the doors of music venues in Dundee and offering my services free of charge to gain valuable experience working in the real world instead of a classroom or lecture theatre. Through doing this, it showed I was a keen up-and-coming live sound engineer and I made me some valuable contacts within the industry. Looking at the amount of work I am getting these days, this was certainly a wise choice and the days of working for free has definitely more than paid off. I could not be happier at the moment and I am very excited about what the future holds.

What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment I have been doing a fair bit of crew work at some stadium shows in Glasgow, as well as touring the UK festival circuit again. I have also recently become FOH engineer for upcoming Dundee band Scary People and will no doubt be out on the road with them very soon.

If I’m not out on the road working at shows I have an in-house sound engineer job at Dundee music venue 20 Rocks, where I mix anything from local acoustic artists to full-on international touring bands. All of this, as well as a few FOH engineer jobs for Dundee stars The View is keeping me very busy at the moment and I cant get enough of it.

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

It’s quite hard to say to be honest. Things just keep going from strength to strength and I keep working hard and learning as much as possible. The FOH jobs I have done for The View were a great success and I was quite proud of that. I would probably say that’s my biggest achievement, as well as managing to get myself involved with the UK festival circuit, and getting to work with some amazing artists such as Stevie Wonder and Bruce Springsteen.

You've been involved with both festivals/live venue tours and theatre productions, but which area are you looking to specialise in?

From day one in this industry it has all been about live venue tours and festivals for me. However, it’s always nice to get a mix of everything and I have been lucky enough to do that so far. I have done almost every job in the live sound industry, from FOH engineer to merchandise seller. My main aim is to become an established touring engineer with a great reputation.

What is your favourite ever piece of audio equipment?

It’s hard to say. While working at festivals I have seen a lot of top-of-the-range equipment in action. I also recently went down to the Midas Headquarters in Kidderminster for training, where I had the privilege of using a Midas XL8,as well as many of the Pro Series mixing desks. Loved it!

When engineering, I love mixing a Shure Beta 91 in and a Shure Beta 52 out, when available, to produce my kick drum sound. They blend together so well to produce a cracking kick drum sound.

Which band/artist would you most like to work with and why?

I would love to engineer for The Stone Roses. They are my favourite band of all time and I just could not think of anything better than standing behind a mixing desk in a packed field and mixing them day in, day out. That’s the dream, but if I can become touring engineer for a good professional band that write good music and tour the world then I could not be happier to be honest. I would not be fussy about who the artist is.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

In ten years time I hope to have become a far more experienced and established touring engineer than I already am – hopefully working with an established international act. I feel if I continue to go the way I’m going and keep my work ethic up to scratch, I can make this possible. Time will tell I suppose.

To get involved in our Rising Stars column, whether you are an engineer who is new to the industry and would like to be featured, or an experienced engineer who would like to nominate a particular student/apprentice, please contact Audio Pro International editor Adam Savage on adam.savage@intentmedia.co.uk or +44 (0)1992 535646.

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